Vyasa Puja offering 2021 / Подношение на день явления Гирираджи Свами – 2021

My dearest friend, advisor and close associate, Giriraj Swami,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Like many thousands of others around the world, you are in my thoughts and prayers on this special day of your Vyasa Puja. We all miss you, we all love you and we all hanker for your association. But with all due respect, I think I miss you most, love you most and hanker for your association most of all.
Maybe that is simply because we’ve been friends for such a long time and our friendship has matured with age. I met a friend from high school the other day who, like me, has been on lockdown for a year and a half here in India. He remarked that with age one has more confidence, is slower to judge, values things more and learns to let go of things one cannot change. Then he smiled and said, “And one wears his wrinkles with pride.”
I nodded my head at those little snippets of logic and reasoning, but with your Vyasa Puja just around the corner, my friendship with you came to mind and I thought, “But in our lives as devotees in Krsna consciousness, the very best thing about growing old is sharing with our godbrothers and godsisters the realizations we’ve gained from 50 years of service together.”
Such realizations are hard-earned and do not come easily. To conquer over the material energy and rise to the stage of always remembering Krsna and never forgetting Him takes great effort and determination. But when we are successful, even in the smallest of ways, it becomes a great victory and we want to shout out to our godbrothers and godsisters, saying: “I did it and so can you!”
My dear Maharaja, your whole life in Krsna consciousness has been such a statement to me, beginning with your extraordinary love for Srila Prabhupada and from there, extending out to include your deep, enlightening Krsna conscious stream of lectures; your enthusiasm for chanting the holy names; your steadiness in all situations—favorable or not—your appreciation for your godbrothers, godsisters and each of your disciples; and now in your later years, the numerous books you have written and published—especially if I might remark, your magnum opus: “I’ll Build You A Temple – The Juhu Story.” A magnum opus is the greatest achievement of an artist or writer—their masterpiece! You, my dear Maharaja, have managed to accomplish all of the aforementioned and more, and I am inspired, thinking that one day I can too!
What a wonderful life we have lived as Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, carrying on his mission as best we can in our different ways—all culminating in one great offering to his lotus feet.
The sun is gradually setting on the horizon of our lives and we naturally think of what lies beyond. But I, for one, have full faith that it will be a natural progression from what we have been doing in our present lives all along: chanting, dancing, feasting, sharing our good fortune with others and visiting the holy dhamas. That being said, it would mean nothing without the deep loving relationships we have with those we have come to hold most dear.
So on this day, so full of grace, I pray that I may always serve alongside you, for your heart’s desire will take you to be with Srila Prabhupada and his family of devotees. There is no other place in this world, or the next, where I would wish to be!
Always by your side, your friend for now and forevermore,